Updates on Air Canada Altitude: AQM & eUpgrades

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  1. En-Route
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    En-Route Silver Member

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    Updates on Air Canada Altitude: AQM & eUpgrades

    new today and copied from another site

    Later today, we’ll be announcing some changes to the amount of Altitude Qualifying Miles you’ll earn when traveling with Air Canada, along with some updates about changes to eUpgrades coming next year.

    More miles with many Air Canada fares

    Starting tomorrow – August 20 – all members will earn more Altitude Qualifying Miles on many Air Canada fares:
    • Earn 25% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Tango fare for travel within Canada on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express. Tango fares for travel across all other markets will remain at 50% Altitude Qualifying Miles.

    • Earn 125% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Latitude or Premium Economy fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.

    • Earn 150% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase an Executive First or Executive Class fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.

    • Earn Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase any fare – including Tango fares, which previously earned non-qualifying Aeroplan Miles – on flights operated by Air Canada rouge .

    Note that this change will apply to all reservations, regardless of booking date, for travel effective tomorrow.

    eUpgrade Add-ons

    In order to preserve the sustainability of the eUpgrade benefit on overseas International flights, beginning March 2014, certain Altitude members will see the introduction of eUpgrade Add-ons. eUpgrade Add-ons are a supplementary payment, in addition to the required number of eUpgrade Credits that will apply as follows:
    • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply for Altitude Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K and Elite 75K members. Add-ons will also apply to the upgraded travel companions of members who hold one of those Altitude status levels. Add-ons will not apply for Super Elite 100K members or their companions.

    • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply only for travel on longhaul, international flights. Specifically, add-ons are applicable for travel between Canada and Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Add-ons will not apply for travel within North America, including Sun destinations.

    • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply to upgrades from Flex fares. Add-ons will not apply to upgrades from Latitude or Premium Economy fares.

    • eUpgrade Add-ons will not change how you request an upgrade. As today, you will continue to be able to request an upgrade at aircanada.com/upgrade, through Air Canada Reservations or with an agent at the airport. Where applicable, however, you will be required to provide a credit card in order to pay for the add-on. Note that the credit card will only be charged if your upgrade is successful, and all charges will be processed in Canadian Dollars (CAD).

    • eUpgrade Add-ons will vary by market.The rate you pay will include any applicable taxes, and will be priced as follows:
      • Between Canada and Europe, the Middle East & South America: $500
      • Between Canada and Asia & Australia: $750
    Other changes to eUpgrades

    Also beginning in March 2014, a few additional changes to eUpgrades will take effect:
    • The eUpgrade Travel Companion benefit will be expanded, and will replace eUpgrade Nominees. On the day of departure, all Altitude members will now be able to upgrade one companion who is not travelling on the same reservation, as long as they are traveling on the same flight. This will give members more flexibility when upgrading companions who may not be traveling on the same reservation as them.

    • Altitude Super Elite 100K members will retain 2 eUpgrade Nominees. This will be in addition to the new expanded travel companion benefit.

    • eUpgrades with Aeroplan ClassicFlight Rewards will no longer be available. This benefit, currently exclusive to Super Elite 100K members, will be removed.
    By allowing all members to earn Altitude Qualifying Miles with all Air Canada fares, and more AQM on our premium fares, we hope you’ll reach a higher Altitude status even faster.

    Naturally we do not take these changes to the eUpgrade program lightly. However, in order to balance the challenging economics of offering an international eUpgrade privilege, we are striving to make changes that will allow us to continue offering this benefit, while also aligning ourselves competitively.

    As some of you may note, the eUpgrade Add-on product is similar to what many other international carriers have introduced in connection with their mileage upgrade products. To that end, unlike in other frequent flyer programs, upgrades for Altitude members do not require the use of Aeroplan Miles, which instead can be reserved for use to purchase ClassicFlight Rewards. However, in order to sustain the delivery of Executive First service, we have introduced add-ons in addition to the number of eUpgrade Credits required.

    Learn more about these changes here.
     
  2. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Wow. Unless you're super elite 100k, this is quite the enhancement for the rest of us.
     
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  3. Pizzaman
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    I'm not an expert on Air Canada, but this essentially means you need to shell out $500 to use a SWU?
     
  4. tomh009
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    I got the email this afternoon.

    Most of the changes are minor, but the eUpgrade "add-ons" are a pretty major devaluation of the eUpgrade credits for all levels up to 75K (or a devaluation of the 25K through 75K levels, if you prefer). $1500 for a two-way upgrade, plus the credits, is a pretty price tag. Especially since the gap between Flex and discounted J is sometimes not all that big.

    I guess I'll need to push to stay at the 100K level. Sigh.
     
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  5. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Unless you're at the 100K level or flying on a refundable fare, yes.
     
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  6. slalom

    slalom Silver Member

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    No upgrades on classic rewards for SE sounds like a big downgrade
     
  7. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Waiting for our AC fanboy to laud these improvements and proclaim how they will keep him safe from infection from those of us who freeload in the front cabin.
     
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  8. tomh009
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    Potentially, yes, if you've been using those. I've never used eUpgrade credits on AP reward flights myself.
     
  9. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I think he's safe from you since the only contact you have with AC is on this forum.
     
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  10. SensFan
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    This is probably the smallest and most insignificant change that was announced. This was a new benefit for 2013 so I doubt there are many people who even got a chance to use it. Since the upgrade process is opaque for AC it is unknown the priority these upgrades would have but I wouldn't be surprised if they were ranked around the spot where Aeroplan J bookings that were in Y ranked. They would probably only work on flights where an SE would be receiving an op-up...

    I wonder how much of the vaunted $50 million in savings will be attributed to these changes. The increased AQM on flights seems to be a knee jerk reaction to them losing quite a few frequent flyers this year.
     
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  11. QSG
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    That co-payment is a nice touch !:p
     
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  12. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Well, the e-Upgrades were fun while they lasted. I'm already flying non-AC to Asia because I can save $1000 on a Flex fare. I won't pay that $1000 in hopes of getting an upgrade that will cost another $1500.

    It will be interesting to see how many of these add-ons really get collected.
     
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  13. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Well, they have to remain aligned competitively!
     
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  14. Doesn't change my life David as a 2MM and a SE until at least Feb.28/2015, probably longer. I also buy tickets that ensure my BIS is in J. Grey hair brings about certain abilities to enjoy a better lifestyle ;)

    That being said FF programs as we knew them are heading for the dustbin. That does not just include AC. Check what it costs to get an upgrade on any other major international carrier outside of NA.
     
  15. I haven't had time to read the fine details of the new plan but with more and more seats to Asia being available AC will need to do something to keep their planes full. Landing at YVR made me feel like it was PVG as there were so many Chinese carriers lined up at the international gates.
     
  16. tomh009
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    Flying on UA (realistically NH is too expensive) will be cheaper than Flex but maybe not much different from Tango. Neither UA nor Tango offers the upgrade option, so the differences will be 100% (vs 50%) mileage credit in favour of UA, and the hard product in favour of AC.

    Which one makes more sense depends on each person's own priorities.
     
  17. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    UA's minimum international upgrade fare is W, which is usually a bit less than AC's Flex fare. UA SWUs can be had from the underground for about $200 each. When doing a search for flights on the UA site, in the advanced mode you can click on "fares" and see a breakdown of availabilities including R upgrade inventory. If R is not "0" then it can be confirmed once the flights have been ticketed. The advantage over AC is this ability to confirm at the time of booking and not have to play Aerolotto at the airport since R is not often zero'd out if booked a couple of months in advance.

    More to the point, having an MP elite account means at least E+ but also less expensive awards since there is no fuel surcharge as AE adds. Even AC flights are much cheaper when using MP miles rather than AE miles.

    Of course AAdvantage is much better. As an ExecPlat, you get more SWUs (8 per year), any fare upgrades and confirmable for the most part at ticketing. If you don't make the upgrade (international or NAmerican) you get E+ seating plus free alcohol and BoB items, better deal than even 1K.
     
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  18. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Well, I guess we will see what happens to the lower tier elites, or is altitudists, in a year. One good thing about Aeroplan was the potential capacity to upgrade on inteenational flights. Now that has gotten a lot more expensive and untenable. If Aeroplan wants to eliminate their lower tier fliers, this is a good way.
     
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  19. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Obviously doing everything they can to support Porter's expansion plans.
     
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  20. Not really because I've never NOT gotten J when I requested it and I am SE
     
  21. Everyone always says that when they change the FF program, yet their BIS numbers grow annually and their FF members grow quite a lot.
     
  22. Just how many have they lost in your opinion?
     
  23. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Of course we weren't discussing switching FF programs. But glad you got to advertise yours anyway.
     
  24. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Certainly for any lower tier elites not living in North America this a major problem, and it may well induce them to leave the program. Which could indeed be what AC intends.
     
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  25. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Do you mean that you've always managed to find J reward seats?
     
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